Super Bowl Ad Gets Killed After Outcry From Animal Rights Groups

Super Bowl season has officially arrived. Just a couple days before the big Patriots-Seahawks showdown, the game-time commercials have started popping up on YouTube — and, just like every year around this time, we've got our first offensive-ad scandal! 

GoDaddy has pulled its commercial from Sunday's line-up after an outcry from animal rights activists; the ad's punchline centers around a puppy being sold online.

The boring company (it registers domain names) with the absurdly edgy ads (usually just nearly naked women) decided to parody Budweiser's famous horse and puppy commercials this time, with a spot called "Journey Home." It shows a cute pup who's separated from and then reunited with its family. The kicker is that the family's only happy to see him because his escape thwarted their plan to sell him online — via a GoDaddy site, of course.

A Change.org petition popped up almost immediately after the ad debuted and it had over 42,000 signatures as of this writing. It sums up activists' disapproval like this:

"...Go Daddy is encouraging private breeding/puppy mills while shelter animals wait patiently for their forever homes or worse — to be euthanized. They are also encouraging purchasing an animal online; the animal could be sold to someone who runs a fighting ring, someone who abuses animals, or to someone who cannot adequately care for the animal. Animal rights are no laughing matter and to portray them as such is cruel and irresponsible."

GoDaddy responded on its website Tuesday night saying, with an apology, that it had pulled the ad from the Super Bowl. 

"This morning, we previewed GoDaddy's Super Bowl spot on a popular talk show, and shortly after a controversy started to swirl about Buddy, our puppy, being sold online. The responses were emotional and direct. Many people urged us not to run the ad... The net result? We are pulling the ad from the Super Bowl. You'll still see us in the Big Game this year, and we hope it makes you laugh. Finally, rest assured, Buddy came to us from a reputable and loving breeder in California. He's now part of the GoDaddy family as our Chief Companion Officer and he's been adopted permanently by one of our longtime employees."

Watch the Buddy ad above, and here's the Budweiser spot it was parodying: 
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